sa·​bra ˈsä-brə How to pronounce sabra (audio)
often capitalized
: a native-born Israeli

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web After all, Paul Newman played the hero, Ari Ben Canaan, a chiseled, blue-eyed sabra Superman, and the blonde, lithe Eva Marie Saint his American love interest, whose evolution from skeptic to supporter of the Jewish cause mirrored the emotions of millions of sympathetic viewers. Jane Eisner, Washington Post, 23 Feb. 2023 His older brother Yoni was his hero, the living image of a sabra, the new, fighting Israeli Jew. Dominic Green, WSJ, 2 Dec. 2022 Israelis often identify themselves with the sabra, the cactus fruit that has a prickly exterior and a soft interior and pride themselves on their frankness and shameless audacity. Ruth Eglash, The Seattle Times, 4 Sep. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sabra.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Modern Hebrew ṣabhār, literally, prickly pear

First Known Use

1945, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sabra was in 1945

Dictionary Entries Near sabra

Cite this Entry

“Sabra.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jun. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on sabra

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!